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chef Pippa Lovell

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell

Summer, Unannounced

Chef Pippa Lovell won the S.Pellegrino Social Responsibility Award for the UK & North Europe Region. 

26 October, 2020
Average: 3.4 (49 votes)

serves for


total time

0 HR 40 MIN


Fermented rhubarb
Pink rhubarb
3 sticks
Homemade sea salt
Elderflower vinegar
100 g, no stem and in a sunny spot
Leftover Champagne
250 ml, good quality
Raw apple cider vinegar
50 ml (with the mother in)
Ayrshire cow yogurt
Dried gut weed
Elder salt
Young nasturtium leaf
Gorse petals
(before it flowers)
Hairy bittercress
(once it flowers)

Pippa Lovell shares her creative recipe for a foraged amuse bouche, which she describes as a "screenshot of a time and place" designed to highlight the importance of biodiversity and the preservation of nature. 

The idea for the dish came to Lovell while foraging for ingredients in a one-square-mile area on the Isle of Man in the UK in April. She was both surprised and shocked to discover how early many of the ingredients had arrived this year.

"The use of the year-old fermented rhubarb from the same place that the rest of the ingredients are foraged from, is testament to the fact that a year ago, in this same area, things were at a completely different growth stage and that climate change is happening far too quickly," she explains.

The very sweet and equally bitter notes in the dish are designed to "echo the bittersweet emotions I have towards the early arrival of the summer," she continues.

Pippa's "unexpected" summer amuse bouche comes with a message: "to inspire people to take a different approach with sourcing food and respecting nature again."

If you're ready to re-connect with nature, take a look a the steps in this thoughtful recipe below:

Step 01

cutting rhubarb by Pippa Lovell

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell

Fermented rhubarb

Slice the rhubarb into 4 cm pieces at an angle, weigh the pieces, add the sliced rhubarb and 2% of their weight in salt into a bowl. Massage the rhubarb with the salt until it starts to weep. Cover with a cloth and leave for an hour. Press the rhubarb and weigh it down until the liquid covers the rhubarb. Leave to ferment in a warm place for a year.

Chef tips: the year-old fermented rhubarb can just be a quick pickle recipe instead.

Step 02

Home made vinegar bottles by Pippa Lovell

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell

Elderflower vinegar

Add the champagne, vinegar and elderflower to a sterilised bottle, cover with a muslin cloth and a rubber band, and leave for a year until a fresh mother forms on top.

Chef tips: The elderflower vinegar could just be some flowers blitzed into champagne vinegar then passed.



Step 03

herbs from foraging by Pippa Lovell

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell


When the tide is out, forage a few handfuls of gut weed (ulva intestinalis). Wash this several times in cold running water and ensure there is no sand. Put in the dehydrator for 10 hours at 58 degrees. The weed will form a sheet, break into small pieces. It is salty enough.

Chef tips: You could deep-fry the gut weed.

From a place near where your rhubarb and yogurt is from, forage the chickweed, hairy bittercress, nasturtiums and gorse petals.

Step 04

yogurt dressing by Pippa Lovell

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell

Yogurt dressing

For the yogurt dressing, simply season your yogurt with a few drops of elderflower vinegar and a little salt (preferably homemade sea salt).

Step 05

Plating by Pippa Lovell

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell


This dish has no specific way of plating other than building an image in a small area of the plate to represent that the dish is based on a small area of land.

Start with the yogurt, then a few slices of the fermented rhubarb, start building the herbs using equal amounts of each to balance the flavour. Season with a little elderflower salt (homemade salt blitzed with elder flowers, dried and blitzed again)

Finish with a little juice from the fermented rhubarb and add the gorse petals at the end, being careful not to bruise them with your tweezers.

Step 06

Summer unannounced

Courtesy of chef Pippa Lovell

The final dish. 

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